The Pacific Islands Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (PILNA) report showed fifth and seventh graders in Marshall Islands had the lowest test results among 13 Pacific countries.
The report was presented to principals and head teachers from the public school system recently at the International Conference Center.
Students in the Marshall Islands and 12 other countries were tested for math and literacy. In math, both fifth and seventh graders in the RMI produced test results below the Pacific region average. In literacy (English), fifth grade results were below the Pacific average, but RMI seventh graders gained scores above the regional average.
For example, while literacy level for fifth grade students in the Pacific region averaged 46 percent, only 31 percent of RMI fifth graders were considered at or above the fifth grade English levels. But seventh graders performed better, showing 59 percent were proficient compared to the regional average of 46 percent.
This was part of the presentation delivered by Mere Seniloli from SPC’s Educational Quality and Assessment Program to principals and head teachers at the ICC.
In math, non-urban students tested better than students living in urban areas. The results are quite different when it comes to literacy, where students in urban areas showed higher results compared to students in the outer island areas.
A comparison to PILNA results from 2012 shows students in RMI improved in literacy but remained at the same level in numeracy tests.
The data was collected from fifth and seventh grade students in Majuro, Jaluit, Arno and Ebeye — both public and private schools.
Read more about this in the August 5, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.